FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 6/14/22, Presented by BODYARMOR Edge
We're one game shy of a full slate, as today's 14-game main slate awaits us in MLB DFS.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Gerrit Cole (FanDuel Salary: $10,400) - There are four pitchers with a salary above $10,000: Max Fried ($10,500), Gerrit Cole ($10,400), Logan Gilbert ($10,200), and Sean Manaea ($10,000). Of the four, I have Cole rated highest.
Facing the Tampa Bay Rays, Cole will draw a team that ranks 19th in active-roster strikeout rate (22.5%) and 16th in wRC+ (102), sure, but only one team has a lower implied run total than the Rays (2.59).
As for Cole, he sits second among main-slate starters in strikeout rate (30.7%), fourth in hard-hit rate (25.6%), and first in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (31.8%), xFIP (2.79), and SIERA (2.88). Adjusted for this matchup, I have Cole ranked second on the slate in expected strikeout rate (30.6%).
Cole is my top preference of the top four, followed by (in order) Fried, Manaea, and Gilbert.
Dylan Cease ($9,600) - If looking for a non-$10K pitcher salary, Cease deserves a long look given the matchup against the Detroit Tigers, whose active roster wRC+ of 74 is a league-worst. They're also 28th in barrel rate (6.0%) and 23rd in strikeout rate (23.7%).
Cease leads all main-slate pitchers in strikeout rate (32.7%) and backs that up with a second-best mark in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (30.6%). Unsurprisingly, he leads in expected strikeout rate (34.3%) in my projections.
Cease isn't flawless, of course. He's 17th in fly-ball rate and 26th in walk rate allowed. He could get himself into some trouble, yet the lack of pop from the Tigers shouldn't make him pay for his mistakes.
Logan Webb ($9,200) - Webb is another option in the $9,000 range, and we probably shouldn't get too eager for value arms on tonight's slate, given the sheer number of pitchers with high-upside potential.
Webb gets the Kansas City Royals, a team with an active-roster strikeout rate of 19.3% (5th-best in the bigs) but a wRC+ of 93 (24th) and a barrel rate of 7.1% (20th). Webb also will be in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. The expected strikeout numbers are a bit low, yet the floor should be high when you consider his great batted-ball data (he ranks fifth among the starters in hard-hit rate allowed and first in fly-ball rate allowed) along with the Royals' overall lack of power.
Senzatela ranks fourth on the slate in walk rate (4.8%) and fly-ball rate (26.6%) but struggles everywhere else. He's last in strikeout rate (10.6%) and ranks 24th in SIERA (4.92). That'll keep the Guardians' offense in play, especially because they've got a league-best strikeout rate offensively (15.4%). Overall, I'm projecting Senzatela for a lowly 7.2% strikeout rate. Yikes.
Sure, we have Jose Ramirez ($4,600) anchoring the lineup but plenty of affordable bats expected near the top of the order: Myles Straw ($3,100), Amed Rosario ($2,900), Josh Naylor ($3,300), and Oscar Gonzalez ($2,800).
The Atlanta Braves are getting a debut from Jackson Tetreault, who is projected for a 14.7% strikeout rate this season at the highest level -- along with a 5.48 FIP. Yikes. That strikeout rate would rank 27th on the slate, better than only Senzatela's in-season mark.
That helps quell some concerns about Atlanta's affinity to whiff (25.2% strikeout rate, 28th in the bigs) and let us get excited about their power potential (8.6% barrel rate, 8th-best, and .490 expected slugging, 3rd-best).
Atlanta's salaries will pair pretty well when we go down to roster Cease instead of one of the top options (i.e. Cole primarily). Ronald Acuna ($4,400), Dansby Swanson ($3,500), and Austin Riley ($3,600) can still be rounded out with Matt Olson ($3,300), Marcell Ozuna ($2,700), and a few other names that we often see in the top seven.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are third in my projections for the night.
Boston faces Jared Koenig in a hitter's park and should get a lot of contact. Koenig has just an 18-batter sample in the bigs this year but ranks just 23rd in strikeout rate (16.7%) and 27th in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (18.4%). While his ERA (9.00) is inflated (I mean, obviously), his SIERA is still just 4.67, and his xFIP is 4.60. FanGraphs projects Koenig for a 17.6% strikeout rate and a 4.62 FIP, however, so it's really not that different from what we've seen so far.
As a team, the Red Sox rank 9th in expected slugging and 10th in expected wOBA, and have rolled out a minimum-salary Robert Refsnyder ($2,000) in two of their past three games (both against lefties).